Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Bridge Creek Inn in San Luis Obispo

The breakfast omelet with goat cheese and rosemary.

At least a couple of times a year my DH and I drive up to the Central Coast. That's the term to describe the area along the California coastline and somewhat inland, starting at the southern end at Santa Barbara and ending up north near Templeton and Paso Robles. We've been enjoying that area for several years. The scenery is beautiful. Rolling and gentle hills. Covered in grassy green in the spring and summer months, but still full of character during the winter months with scraggly oak trees everywhere.

Our interest in the Central Coast began when we started wine tasting there at least 20 years ago. It was a relatively unknown area then, and the few wineries that existed were start-ups with very primitive structures serving as wine tasting rooms. But as the years have gone by, more and more wineries have opened, some with lots of money behind them, showing off fancy wine tasting rooms, tours, gift shops, etc. Others are still back in the 80's, so to speak, with fairly lightweight tasting rooms, with more charm than the high style monied ones. DH loves to find some of the unknowns in the area, so we sometimes drive the back roads looking for new signs.

We began signing up for automatic shipments of wines from some of these wineries. Usually we get a package from each of them every 3 months, mostly reds, because that's what we prefer to drink. The Central Coast makes some wonderful Pinot Noir (Pinots are the specialty of the Central Coast), Zinfandel, even some Chardonnay. One year we heard about one winery called Stephen Ross. DH searched him out and for several years we participated in Steve's barrel adopter's contract. For a fee you "buy" the right to sign a barrel, and you receive two cases of wine from the current vintage and a beautiful sit-down dinner at the winery too. Plus the ability to buy additional wine at a good discount. The dinners are a very fun event, lots of very good food and plenty of wine to go around.

DH subscribes to wines from Foxen, Villa Creek, and Eberle. He tries others, and drops some off his list after a year or so, then adds new ones. We were particularly enamored with Villa Creek when we went to their restaurant in downtown Paso Robles last year. They offered a wonderful flight of their own wines with dinner, that was exceedingly reasonable. And we were very impressed with the dinner as well.

So, whenever we're up in that area, we generally plunk ourselves down in a central place and take a couple of half days to go either north or south. We're particularly fond of San Luis Obispo. The town itself is very quaint, with lots of fine restaurants, even some fun shopping.

Our friends, Cherrie and Bud (Cherrie, my cooking classes friend you've heard about here) told us about this bed and breakfast, and we've been staying there ever since, sometimes with them along too. If we can get in. The owners of the Bridge Creek Inn, Sally & Gene Kruger, are just the nicest people you'd ever want to know. We feel like they're friends since we've been there so many times. Sally is a very good cook, and makes everyone welcome during the social hour when she offers local wines and appetizers to guests. Sometimes Gene is there too, as well as other guests. And Sally serves a lovely breakfast too, with the goat cheese and rosemary omelet one of her signature breakfast. They have a jacuzzi tub, a walking trail, and the location just can't be beat. It's way out of town, on a gentle country road, on a scenic 10-acre plot, with a fantastic view (see below) where you hear nothing but an occasional moo from a cow nearby, or a mew from one of the resident cats, Charlie or Tiger Lily.

I know a lot of people who read my blog aren't interested in California travel, but if you ARE, I highly recommend the Bridge Creek Inn to anyone. San Luis Obispo is a perfect halfway spot when you're driving from Southern to Northern California. It's about 15 miles from the ocean, so enjoys lovely breezes in the heat of summer. Sally is very helpful and knowledgeable about activities in the area - she made dinner reservations for us on this trip at The Garden in Avila. We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary at the Bridge Creek. Very fun. Sally keeps right on top of the latest and newest eateries. Thanks, Sally, for another lovely stay at the Inn.

The sign out on the road at the Bridge Creek.
The house of Bridge Creek B & B.

I could sit for hours with my cup of coffee staring out at this view from the deck at the Bridge Creek.

1 comment:

Toffeeapple said...

What a lucky girl you are! Wine is one of my favourite things and there you are in the midst of wine growing country and with dinners at the vinyard, I am jealous...

Thank you for posting the photos, it gives me a better sense of where you are and what you are doing.